10th October 2021 at 2:04 pm #132327
Has anyone else watched this entire series yet? What do you think?
I watched it all over the past week and think there are some excellent scenes in it that portray an abusive relationship. I was surprised at some of the scenes that triggered an emotional response in myself.
If you haven’t watched it yet but would like to then don’t read on as my next post will have some spoilers in it that would ruin the story as it unfolds.
10th October 2021 at 2:40 pm #132328
There is no doubt that the lead character Alex is in an abusive relationship. She is a wonderful mother and she flees in the middle of the night in her car with her daughter and nothing else.
It shows how hard it is to find safe accommodation and the hoops you have to jump through, the forms you have to complete, and how alone you are fighting the system at times. The red tape and bureaucracy I found quite realistic. I also found the refuge scenes very similar to my experience too, especially the ‘clothing store’ (that’s the bit that really got me and it took me by surprise to be honest).
The friend that comes in to her life, ‘Nate’, reminded me so much of the posts that I read on here where ladies have seemingly found a male friend who wants to be supportive and help her, but then finds that he is not actually as supportive as he at first seemed! There is a scene in Nate’s kitchen where it becomes quite apparent that his friendship does have some strings attached after all.
The abuser is Sean. A young man who at times shows good qualities. His abusive actions are blamed on his childhood. His instant reaction to Alex leaving him was to apply for residency of their child out of spite. His reasons that she is in unstable accommodation (which is down to his actions) is upheld by the court in the first instance. It reminded me of just how unfair the system is at times. Your relationship is not deemed to have a history of abuse if you’ve never officially reported it to any authorities or told anyone about it!
Alex’s mum loves Sean and gets on well with him. She seems to think that Alex is overreacting by leaving him and should go back with him, but Alex knows he is abusive and continues to struggle with the life that comes with leaving an abuser. Sean’s mum starts to do things that are not in the child’s best interests to punish Alex for leaving her son. Sean then starts to seek help for his issues and you start to see an improved Sean. Alex welcomes this and supports his recovery, but still doesn’t want him back. You then recognise his Triangulation technique and how he hopes this will work.
Another bit that triggered me is a part when Sean is an imperative part in helping Alex with her mum. At this time she needs him and he does well. There was a time when my abuser was in a situation where he needed help and the only person to help him was me. At that time, for a moment, he became ‘human’ again and the man that I’d met. For just a short moment, we worked together as a team, put all the legal battles and continued post-abuse separation to one side and coped with a situation that had arisen that required immediate help and support. Once that was all over, everything went back to being abusive to me.
When they eventually get back together, you see the honeymoon phase, then the walking on eggshells, the explosion and the whole cycle starting again. I wondered how people who have no idea of the cycle of abuse watched this series and what their account of it would be? The fact that Sean reverted to his ‘normal’ self once he’d got her back was typical. All of the ‘work’ that he had done on himself was not for him at all, it was to serve a purpose to win her back. How many times do we hear that promise of “I’ll change” or “I’ll get help.”? This series shows that very well.
What I found most frustrating about this series was how perfect Alex was through everything. She never once lost her temper with anyone. She never retaliated with Sean, she never got angry at the system, she was always the perfect mum (the little girl who plays her daughter is adorable and was amazing throughout.) In reality, I lost the plot a few times, behaved outrageously on occasions out of sheer frustration with people in authority, got so down I was unable to parent at times and required help with my son and did at times go a bit crazy before pulling myself together again. When I was feeling as helpless as she was I certainly wasn’t as reasonable!
11th October 2021 at 9:23 am #132352LisaMain Moderator
Hi Wants To Help
I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this, I have not seen this series but it sounds like the way they show the cycle of abuse is very realistic.
It’s really understandable that you acted differently to the character Alex, I think a lot of survivors find it so hard to stay calm throughout such a difficult situation, and would have felt more like you did.
I hope you are looking after yourself after watching something that you found triggering.
11th October 2021 at 5:41 pm #132378gettingtiredParticipant
I haven’t watched this yet so skipped your comment but I’ve read very good reviews x
12th October 2021 at 2:35 pm #132407NeverthoughtitwouldbemeParticipant
I too have watched this series and was, surprisingly, hooked on it.
It did bring back some awful memories but if anything it made me realise the seriousness of the situation I was in.
My therapist has helped me to understand that you should never compare, however watching Maid made me realise how badly treated I was. My situation felt extreme after watching.
I have had a tricky few weeks and have felt very anxious. I think it’s partly to do with understanding what I have been through and that recovering from it really is a journey. We are all going to have good days and bad days.
Sending love to anyone who does watch it and may feel the same x*x
12th October 2021 at 4:36 pm #132413
Thank you for your responses, much appreciated x
12th October 2021 at 11:42 pm #132439Kitkat44Participant
I’ve just finished watching it, found it difficult but was compelled to continue,
I too struggled to see how Alexs character remains so level headed with her mother’s behaviour too!
I am so full of resentment right now and cross with myself for still being in my situation that I can be quite horrid to my husband then feel guilty! Such a mess.
He has recently been called up on his behaviour by our (detail removed by moderator) is on his best behaviour and has a said he acknowledges he has messed up. Too little too late.
Anyway I’m rambling. Loved the series.
13th October 2021 at 7:47 am #132445LottieblueParticipant
Hi WTH – I finished it yesterday – brilliant.
I found the bit where he gave Nate’s car back quite chilling. Such control and complete isolation.
TBH I think they could have gone a bit further to clarify (to those who don’t know) why this relationship was abusive, emotionally abusive. It was quite telling when Alex was asking her dad to testify – presumably she was referring to being told to sit down and eat when she said he had witnessed it. He said there was no abuse. There was a moment, near the beginning, where she said to her mum “he took my bank card off me – that was abuse” and I would have liked more of this. I would have liked her to say to her dad – you witnessed A, B and C, that was abuse.
Brilliantly done, amazing acting – Andie McDowall was stupendous (I have never liked her before) and little Maddie…. Wow. But you’re right about not seeing enough genuine despair from Alex.
13th October 2021 at 1:27 pm #132469
Hi kitkat44 and lottieblue, thanks for your responses too 🙂
I binge watched the series and loved it at the time, but now I keep thinking about it and different elements of it annoy me. Andie McDowell’s character really annoyed me. I kept thinking “can someone really be that indifferent or ignorant of their daughter’s needs so consistently? It was like another level of abuse from a narc mother, but then the show made us believe it was all mental health related.
And yes, when Sean took the car back to Nate, that really hammered home the level of control and isolation.
The meal time in the trailer that her Dad witnessed and then refused to back her up on was very interesting. This was an ideal way of showing a level of control and how awful this is; we know how badly this affects us, but when we get told these behaviours are criminal offences would any jury consider that an offence worthy of a criminal conviction or prison sentence? In isolation, no. That is why the offence of CCB has to be regularly and repeatedly in order to meet the criminal offence threshold, and when you have no witnesses it makes it almost impossible to prove.
I’m now on Squid Game!
16th October 2021 at 10:22 pm #132572BananaboatParticipant
I’ve started to watch this and it’s good so far. Like others have said I’d have liked a bit more about the abuse she suffered with Sean, maybe it comes in later episodes, because although certain scenes have triggered me (the build ups and suspense before seeing him, the shouting in her face) I’m not sure ppl who haven’t suffered dv would understand her feelings or the depth of them.
17th October 2021 at 4:25 pm #132592ShocknaweParticipant
I finished watching it. I related to her when she was in the sofa and couldn’t react, in shock. That’s how I felt most of the times – frozen in shock, incapable of reacting or snap out of it.
I didn’t like how they portrayed Sean – as a victim who really tried but couldn’t become a sober non- abuser, or trying to excuse his abuse to the drink. I don’t know – maybe this experience has left me cynical…
17th October 2021 at 4:35 pm #132594nbumblebeeParticipant
Im 4 episodes in not sure I like it dont know whyhowever her comment when they suggested she go to a da shelter think it was something like she didnt want to take a place away from a real woman in trouble thats how i feel thats one reason why I havent reached out. Will stick with it see how it goes. Xx
17th October 2021 at 8:21 pm #132604LifebeginsParticipant
I’ve just finished the whole series. I binged watched the lot. I thought it was pretty powerful illustration that DV is not just about physical assault and you don’t have to be hit to be afraid of your partner. I felt how scared she was in her own home and I remember that terrible, stomach churning feeling.
SPOILER ALERT – don’t read on if you haven’t watched it all
The portrayal of Sean as a drinker (thereby giving him some sort of excuse for his bad behaviour) and the ending of him finally doing the right thing, didn’t sit well with me. I don’t think I have ever read once on this forum about an ex-abuser who’s now doing the right thing by his partner and children. I wish it could be true but it’s certainly not the experience I’m living right now.
Overall, I thought it was really good and once I started watching, I couldn’t stop xx
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